It’s about being sensible and civilized human beings

This can’t be any more true:

“What is baffling is the Office of the Ombudsman’s failure to grasp the seriousness of the situation and the crucial nature of the role it was asked to play to defuse the crisis. Instead of humoring Mendoza by issuing an order reinstating him to his job, it sent him instead a written promise to review his case within 10 days—as if its overriding concern at that crucial moment was the preservation of the integrity of the judicial process rather than the preservation of the lives of the hostages. We don’t need a lawyer to tell us that an order issued under such circumstances carries no binding effect. But this didn’t seem to matter to the Office of the Ombudsman. It insisted on being legally correct. It makes one wonder if people in such high offices, lost in the rituals of their limited functions, can still think like sensible human beings.

Just as infuriating was the behavior of some people from the broadcast media during the hostage crisis. Where lives are at stake, as in an extremely volatile hostage standoff, one expects media to defer to the judgment of the police. One does not need an explicit protocol for media behavior under such conditions to know that no one, not even a media person, should get in the way of police work. You cannot invoke the public’s right to know as a justification to freely approach or communicate with an armed gunman who is holding hostages at gunpoint. Not even if it was the gunman himself who initiated the communication or demanded the media’s intervention. This is not just a matter of ethics. It is what a commonsensical orientation to law and order requires of all citizens.

— Randy David, “Madness and accountability,” PDI

What would have been your answer to that major, major question?

Since yesterday, I’ve been trying to come up with a plausible answer to that “major, major” question. How would anyone have answered that question without crucifying herself in front of the world? Would something like, “I cheated in 9th grade” or “I shop lifted at 15” suffice? It is a loaded question that easily assumes that by 22, Venus Raj had already committed serious mistakes that needed some form or another of correction. People make mistakes, but when you have not even lived well enough to see life’s dark, ugly side, it’s unfair to assume that you are just like the next girl who stumbles out of the club at 4:00 AM and goes about town without her underpants. And it’s unfair either to assume that a woman in her 20s must have already seen life’s ills whether in spite of or because of her poverty. Give the lady a break!

I don’t like the question, as much as I don’t like being asked, “What is your biggest weakness?” or “Bakit hindi ka pa nag-aasawa? (Why are you still single?)” Of course I have a couple of weaknesses, but why should I tell a complete stranger about them? At the end of day, maybe these questions don’t necessarily beg for honest answers, but a proper approach. What is my weakness? Standard answer goes from shoes, to coffee, to Roger Federer, to being totally OC about certain things. What is my biggest mistake? I could tell you but then I would be forced to hunt you down and kill you. I guess Raj’s mistake was that she couldn’t explain in English that she had been surrounded by a supportive and loving family who helped her avoid having to make huge mistakes. 

Dammit, Bill Baldwin, you should have thrown that question at your wife because for sure she would have a number of answers. And what the heck, Evan Lysacek? Is this a third-grade Q & A?

Sidenote: Has it been really that long since Wilson-Phillips made it big? I remember that at one point in high school, they were my favorite girl group, and I could go on for hours listening and singing to You’re In-Love, Release Me, and Someday I’ll Be (Next to You). She looks nothing like the Chynna I used to admire on MTV.

I have always thought that hazing was barbaric

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, defines ‘barbarity’ as:

1. Savage brutality or cruelty in actions or conduct.
2. A cruel or savage act.

In this video, new recruits at Philippine Maritime Institute in Bacolod some marine school are repeatedly punched and slapped, apparently in a hazing ritual, which I wonder if the maritime school has sanctioned, as it seems to have happened within one of its corridors.

This is not for the faint of heart.